Journals Higher Education



Published: 16 June 2008

208 Pages | 8 b/w line illus.

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195342642

Also Available As:


Also Available In:

Bookseller Code (06)

The Anti-Intellectual Presidency

The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush

Elvin T. Lim

Lim argues that the ever-increasing tendency for presidents to crowd out argument in presidential rhetoric with applause-rendering platitudes and partisan punch-lines was concertedly implemented by the modern White House. Through a series of interviews with former presidential speechwriters, he shows that the anti-intellectual stance was a deliberate choice rather than a reflection of presidents' intellectual limitations. Only the smart, he suggests, know how to "dumb down."